Guide & Tips

How to Use a Floor Jack – Useful Tips & Step by Step Guide

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how to use floor jack
image credit: yourmechanic

A floor jack is also known as a hydraulic jack; a floor jack is an extremely useful device which enables you to lift a car or a truck from the floor in order to change its tire or to even work under the car safely.

As it can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if the car or truck is not lifted using professional and secure tools.

If you love owning or working with cars and trucks, then this tool is definitely a must have for you.   

Floor jacks come is different shapes and sizes like standard 3-ton floor jacks or the heavy duty 5 ton and 10-ton floor jacks for bigger automobiles, also convenient options like portable and compact floor jacks.

These floor jacks are sub categorized into bottle jacks or scissor jacks by some. The floor jacks are also categorized based on variations in their build for example low profile floor jacks, or light weight aluminum built floor jacks etc.

Though if you are searching about how to use a floor jack safely then this probably means that you are aware of the importance of this device and have already bought one for yourself (though if you are still searching its best to read online about the best floor jacks on the market).

The next thing for you to now understand is how you can use these floor jacks safely and properly. For this purpose we have specially compiled this article using tips and guide from the professionals to help you understand the basics of using a floor jack like a pro.

Step by Step Guide on Using a Floor Jack

Before starting with the procedure of using these tools it is important for you to understand how these floor jacks work.

Basically these floor jacks have a pair of wheels fixed under it along with a pair of rotating casters which allows you to move this jacks easily. When working with this tool you just have to roll its saddle under the lifting point of your car and then pump the handle up and down.

This allows the hydraulic cylinder to elevate the lifting arm until the saddle contacts with the car’s lifting point.

Before starting, ensuring safety should be your utmost priority as working with heavy vehicles without taking safety precautions can prove to be fatal. Below is the step by step procedure on how to use a floor jack properly:

  • The first thing is to ensure your vehicle is parked on a flat and solid surface which is necessary for proper placement and fixing of the floor jack. Also make sure the parking brake is engaged.

  • For safety purpose choke the wheels of your vehicle using a wheel choker. so that the car doesn’t roll back accidently.
  • As safety is the utmost priority ensure that you own and use a jack stand if you intend on working under your car to keep it lifted for longer period of time.
  • Next step is to do a test run of your floor jack by engaging and disengaging it with your hand
  • Next step is to properly identify and use the jack points properly, these jack points are indicated by every car manufacturer on the vehicle. If you are not sure, please consult the user manual of your vehicle.
  • Once the jack point is identified, place your jack underneath, the saddle of the jack should have proper contact with the lifting point before lifting.
  • Ensure that the release valve is closed and then gradually start lifting the jack in slow motion.
  • Once the vehicle is hoisted to the required position where you can comfortably access the vehicle from underneath. Then place the jack stand underneath the vehicle.
  • Test the stability of the jack stand first and then gradually and slowly remove the floor jack.
  • Only go under the vehicle once you have ensured that the jack stand is securely placed and has a firm standing.

Make sure to buy a floor jack from a good manufacturer as a cheap quality floor jack can prove to be fatal if it fails to lift the vehicle safely. Also make sure to maintain the floor jack properly as stated in its user manual to extend its working life and quality.

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